Medicating Race Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations With Difference (Paperback)
|Author: Anne Pollock|
From the Publisher:
In Medicating Race, Anne Pollock tracks the intersecting discourses of race, pharmaceuticals, and heart disease in the United States, from the founding of cardiology in the early twentieth century through the FDA's approval of BiDil in the early twenty-first. Indicated for "heart failure in self-identified black patients," BiDil was the first drug sanctioned for use in a specific race. Its approval was widely denounced by scholars. Academic critiques of race and biomedicine often lament the racialization perpetuated by powerful institutional discourses, such as genomic research and pharmaceutical medicine. Pollock argues that such a stance is overly simplistic, portraying biomedicine as a more stable entity than it is, and too comfortable, positioning the critic outside of debates about identity and difference that implicate all Americans.
Pointing out that a racialized medical technology emerges from a history of racial oppression or serves vested interests is just one component of critique. Pollock insists that engagement with the meaning of racialized medical technologies must take into account not only the troubled history of race and biomedicine but also its problematic present. The aim of analysis should be to hold medicine more accountable to truth and justice, not to settle matters as fraught as race and biomedicine.